Jan
15
2012
Every Sets Aside Distractions, Hangs On to Share of Lead
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Is that a brick or VHS player? Every says "rectangle"...

 

So how about that Saints vs. 49ers game?? Now that kept us awake entertained in the media center! Oh, wait, you want to hear about the Sony Open? Fine. First of all, I’d like to thank everyone involved in the whole Matt Every interview debacle for making the rest of the sporting world aware there’s a golf tournament happening.

I wandered out on the back nine to check out the action — mostly because I wanted to see in person the brick-like putter Every is wielding. For those wondering, it’s called the “Black Hawk” (and yes, it’s legal — Every has the USGA papers).

 

“The guy who made it, his name is David Caragetta (ph), I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing his last name right,” said Every in his post-round presser after shooting two-under 68. “He’s an engineer.  I wouldn’t be doing the putter justice if I explained it to you.  Like I know that it works for me.  He knows way more about it than I do.  He knows all the numbers behind it and everything.”

Here’s a link to a Powerpoint presentation on the Black Hawk (scroll to page 18).

Every, who likely got an earful from his agent and a deluge of text messages on that interview, didn’t sleep well last night and got off to a shaky start with a bogey on the second hole. (We were asked at the beginning of the press conference to keep questions golf-related.) Naturally, our ears perked up and we wondered if it had anything to do with any type of blow back. No, not really.

“Just it’s not easy to sleep when you’ve got a lot to lose, you know,” said Every, who is 12-under through 54 holes. “I have a lot to gain, absolutely, but also I have a lot to lose.  I’m in first place.  What else is there to gain right now, you know what I mean.  So, yeah, it’s in the back of my mind.  But everyone thinks of that, maybe except for a few guys.”

And yes, he’s perfectly fine with the comments he made on Friday.

“I’m not uncomfortable with what happened yesterday,” said Every.  “But I talked about it yesterday and I know you guys have a  it’s your job to ask questions and I totally respect that.  But I already talked about it.  It’s old news and I’m over it.”

He wasn’t necessarily looking forward to showing up at Waialae Country Club this morning.

“I actually enjoyed myself a lot today which was kind of weird, because, you know, (with what happened) yesterday and going into today, I was kind of dreading it.  But then when I got out here, I was like, I’m so glad I get to play golf today because it was almost the easiest thing is playing golf on the PGA Tour.”

He played better than what many people probably expected given the off-course distractions. A clutch up-and-down and a little bit of luck on No. 3 helped keep the momentum from swinging out of his favor. His approach barely cleared the water hazard and then he chipped it to about six feet and drained the putt.

“That (par) was big, because if I missed that, I’m two-over after three,” said Every. ” And then the next thing you know, I could have made another bogey and then it’s just kind of survival mode.”

The 28-year-old from Jackonsville Beach, Florida, sounded like he had some nerves/adrenaline pumping as he prepares to sleep with a share of the lead going into the final round. For the record, he has played in the last group before — at the 2010 Waste Management Phoenix Open with Brandt Snedeker and Scott Piercy, but this time feels a little different.

“Today, I have my wife here this week,” he explained.  “I snore, so if she’s not sleeping, she let’s me know about it. That’s one thing. And then the other is, if I’m by myself, then, yeah, I’ll sleep great, listen to some music before I go to bed and fall asleep with my head phones on.  I’m sure I’ll sleep well.  I get a chance to sleep in, so it will be all right.”

Every already has a lot to be proud of, though — he showed up and managed to put together a decent round and still co-lead at the end of the day. He’s tied with 47-year-old Jeff Maggert, who probably hadn’t seen the inside of an interview room since 2006.

Maggert is playing on a major medical after undergoing shoulder surgery last June — he had a bone spur in his right AC joint. However, he went to Q-school last month as a “backup plan” and played well there. He’s making his 21st start at the Sony Open, with a T2 in 1999 being the best of his five top-10 finishes.

“I  know how lucky I am because I’ve been doing I’ve been on the Tour 20 years and I’ve been a pro for 26, so to be out here at 47 and still be competing, you forget about all of the little things that can happen to you along the way,” said Maggert, who shot six-under 64 in the third round.

“When you’re young, you don’t think about anything.  I broke a rib in January 2007 and that was kind of a struggle to get through that. I felt like that’s kind of when my game started to go south a little bit. Just, you know, you get older, you’ve got family, a lot of distractions.  It kind of changes your perspective.  Like I say, I’m tickled to death to still be out here playing.”

Then a funny story came out of the mention of him breaking his rib. Ask him how he did it. He started by saying he was trying to snow ski.

“Actually it wasn’t down the slope,” said Maggert, laughing. “It was afterwards coming out of the grocery store.

“True story:  Tripped on the ice and fell and broke my rib on the curb.  I had won a tournament in 2006 and I broke it two days before I was coming over for the Tournament of Champions in Maui.  I actually flew over here without knowing the rib was broken and I had an X-ray take over on Maui, and the doctor just laughed and he said, ‘I know why your rib is hurting.’

“And I said, ‘Why is that?’ He said, ‘Your rib is broken.'”

It isn’t likely to be a two-man showdown between Maggert and Every, though. The leaderboard is bunched with 16 guys within four shots of the lead — yep, there are 11 players at eight-under, including last week’s ToC winner Steve Stricker and 2011 PGA champion Keegan Bradley. I know there are more football games tomorrow, but this might actually be worth tuning into (at least at some point).

Go, Matt Every.

(AP Photo/Marco Garcia)